Firstly, I hope that all your family wherever they are located are safe and well.This current situation is surreal, as we watch the News shared around the world about how the virus is spreading, making people of all ages ill.
My recent trip to Sicily via Rome had me wondering why there were so many people walking around the airports with masks on. Irrespective of China’s situation, travellers were out exploring and visiting locations, family and friends. On my way back from Sicily, I remember the air-hostess in Rome commenting out loud to her colleague,as we waited to board the bus to our plane, that flights from China were going to stopped. That was the 2nd of February 2020.
The following week was Ski Holidays for the Swiss and European countries, so thousands would have head to some part of Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and France for their vacation. We took off to Madrid Spain to have a family reunion with my brother who flew in from Australia, enjoying the historic beauty, foods and social vibe of this amazing country. People were everywhere, in queues, in the squares, embracing, sharing, taking in what the city has to offer.Further north, workers in the northern parts of Italy who work across the border in Ticino Switzerland would have carried on a daily basis.Without realising, travellers, workers and those of us carrying on with our daily lives have been passing and transferring the Coronavirus COVID-19 virus from country to country.
These numbers are astounding – I can’t even imagine all of these people in hospitals, isolated, on ventilators and fighting for their lives.The harsh reality is that not all of the patients are elderly.The statistics include younger people, some with pre-existing conditions making their bodies vulnerable when trying to overcome this battle.For Switzerland, apparently places like Verbier became the incubating hub for the Coronavirus, as skiing holiday makers from all over Europe and beyond went there for their vacation, before returning home with the contagious virus.
People Need to SELF-ISOLATE when returning from holidays and travels for at least 14 days.Preventing the spreading of the virus is absolutely important.
To check the data and progress of the virus, use this link: Worldometers Info Coronavirus. The information below is from this source dated 25th March 2020 and shows countries all around the globe that are affected.
The first 3 cases were reported in Italy on the 15th of February 2020 but by the 23nd of March, they have 69,176 cases, with the highest reported new cases on 21st of March with 6,557 and a toll of 6,820 citizens.
The first case was reported in Switzerland on the 26th of February 2020 but by the 23nd of March, they have 10,456 cases, with the highest reported new cases on 20th of March with 1,393 and a toll of 145 citizens.
The first 2 cases were reported in Spain on the 15th of February 2020 but by the 23nd of March, they have 47,610 cases, with the highest reported new cases on 24th of March with 6,922 and a toll of 3,434 citizens.
The first 9 cases were reported in UK on the 15th of February 2020 but by the 23rd of March, they have 8,077 cases, with the highest reported new cases on 24th of March with 1,427 and a toll of 422 citizens.
These alarming numbers are to give perspective on how quickly the spreading of the virus has happened, and with our ability to travel in and out of numerous destinations, we unknowingly have been taking the contagious passenger with us.When comparing these to Singapore with only 2 deaths out of the 558 cases it is clear that their actions to check citizen’s temperatures and encourage social distancing have paid off for the small country.Containment, control and vigilance from the authorities and the people of Singapore have been able to limit the spreading of the contagion.
Gallery Global Statistics March 25th 2020 & Loss of Smell from British Rhinological Society, & Influenza H&N Spikes.
” Safety isn’t Expensive, it’s Priceless ” – Unknown
What do we know about these kinds of viral infections?
I have found an interesting and informative 5-minute video put together by Nucleus Medical Media explaining how influenza functions particularly with the H and N strains.
See Video here: Influenza Video
Without having to type out everything that is explained on the video, it explains the H and N spikes that allow the influenza virus to latch onto our healthy cells, multiplying and overtaking our bodies.
Influenza (or flu) virus is an extremely contagious viral infection that attacks your nose, throat, and lungs, which can cause fever, runny nose, coughs, sore throat, chills, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu virus is extremely small visible via electron microscopes.Inside the virus is genetic material containing information that generates additional copies of the same virus.
The genetic material is surrounded by the protein shell, providing a hard protective enclosure. This allows the virus to travels between animals and people it infects.The outer envelope allows the virus to infect when it merges with the outer membrane of the cells. Projecting from the envelope is protein molecules spikes which the flu virus uses to get into your healthy cells, creating more cells. The ‘h’ spikes become keys that latch onto cells in the body, whilst ‘n’ spikes allow copies and free the viral to move around to infect more cells.There are 17 ‘h’ and 9 ‘n’ spikes that are known and used by Scientists to name other strains of flu viruses such as h5n1 otherwise called Avian influenza or ‘bird flu’.
The virus remains on surfaces and objects which can be passed when we touch these items.An infected person coughs or sneezes, sending droplets which are carried from an infected person can enter our mouths or nose, and into the lungs.Once inside, the influenza virus comes into contact with the nose, throat and lungs cells.The ‘h’ cells find the receptor molecule and latch onto this healthy cell membrane, like a key fitting into a lock, which allows the virus to penetrate into the cell.
Travelling inside the sack made by the cell’s membranes to the nucleus, the viral sack and membrane sack are connected.It gives the viral genetic material ability to leave the sack and access to the cell’s nucleus, overtaking the material and energy whilst creating thousands of versions of itself.Some move out of the nucleus, attaching itself to the protein building parts of your cell, called Ribosomes.These use the genetic material and make other viral proteins such as the ‘h’ and ‘n’ spikes, which are the packaging structure called Golgi apparatus carrying the h and n spikes in vesicles that merge with your cells’ membrane.All that is necessary to create new virus amalgamate beneath the cell’s membrane, allowing a new virus to group and spread.The new virus locks onto the membrane receptors ‘h’ spikes whilst the ‘n’ spike cuts it free from the receptors.New influenza viruses are able to infect other cells in the body, causing the flu to develop.
Anti-viral drugs assist to speed the recovery process.The medication’s task is to block the viral and spike from freeing the virus.This is to cause them to remain stuck to the surface of the cells, preventing them from escaping and infecting other cells.Taking the flu vaccine injection containing dead versions of varying types of the influenza virus or a nasal spray with a few weak but live forms of the virus are methods of preventing the viral attack.This method of being exposed to the influenza virus which is too weak to cause infection, but strong enough to stimulate the immune system to respond to it.Within approximately two weeks, the immune system would have created markers called ‘Antibodies’ which are specific to the types of flu contained in the vaccine the body was exposed to.These antibodies attach themselves to each flu viral ‘h’ and ‘n’ spike, preventing these from attaching to your cells, as well as connecting to other viruses, allowing them to clump together.The body’s immune system responds to the work of the antibodies, collecting, destroying, and removing the clumps of viral infections.If in future you are exposed to the flu or these kinds of viral infections, they’ll be recognised by your body and destroyed, preventing you from developing the flu from these strains.To prevent being affected by new strains, the vaccine would have to be taken every year.Courtesy – Nucleus Medical Media.
Gallery of Photos – Influenza Virus Structure & H / N Spikes.
Some advice that the Medical teams have been sharing from their experiences whilst dealing with, trying to help and save those suffering from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).Recently an audio recording was distributed, and this is what was shared.
‘The Chinese now understand the behavior of COVID19 virus from autopsies they have carried out.The virus is characterized by obstructing respiratory pathways with thick mucus that solidifies and blocks the airways and lungs.Discovered in order to apply medicine, the airways need to be opened unblocked so that the treatment can take effect. However, it takes a number of days.Remember to safeguard yourselves during this time.’ Please this information is to help keep you and your family safe, not to frighten you. :
• Drink lots of hot liquids, coffee, soups, teas, and warm water.Also, sip warm water every 20 minutes keeps your mouth and throat moist, as it helps to pass any of the virus to your stomach where the gastric juices will neutralize it before it can get to the lungs.
• Gargle with antiseptic in warm water with lemon saltwater or vinegar every day if possible.
• Virus attaches itself to hair & clothes, including beards for men.The detergent will kill it but you must wash when you get inside from the street. Avoid sitting down anywhere, just go to the bathroom and wash yourselves. If you can’t wash your clothes daily, hang them in direct sunlight which also neutralizes the virus.
• Wash metallic surfaces very carefully as the virus can remain viable for up to 9 days. Take note and be vigilant about touching handrails.Clean the surfaces etc.
• Don’t smoke.
• Wash your hands every 20 minutes with any soap that foams, wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.Avoid constantly touching your face, mouth and eyes, especially if you haven’t washed your hands first.However, it has been advised to ensure the soap contains alcohol and disinfectant.
• Eat fruits and veggies, try elevating your zinc levels not just your vitamin C.
• Animals don’t spread the virus, it’s a person to person transmission.
• Avoid getting common flu as it makes your system weak, and avoid eating & drinking cold things.
• Discomfort in your throat or sore throat coming on, attack it using the above suggestions.The virus can enter your system, remains for 3-4 days within the throat before going to the lungs.
Additional advice which has been given by varying medical experts in other countries:
• SELF ISOLATE FOR 2 WEEKS ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRAVELLING.This is in case you are carrying the virus and to prevent you spreading beyond your home.This is not a punishment but a life-saving caution which can help stop the vulnerable getting ill.
• The virus does not discriminate – it doesn’t care if you’re rich, intelligent, in a high powered job, what your food choices are, whether you’re a Vegan/Vegetarian.It has been affecting the elderly more than the younger generations, but they are not exempt for being infected.
• Losing your sense of smell can be a sign of infection. Please refer to the attachment above from the British Rhinological Society.
• Do not take Ibuprofen as it can make the condition worse.Paracetamol is suggested instead.
• Ensure you check on your elderly and vulnerable neighbours by phone or from a distance to prevent spreading the virus to them.For instance, get their supplies and leave it at their door for them.What we have seen in Italy is that family members were socialising and bringing the virus whilst visiting relatives, making them ill and spreading the disease.
• Going outside means in your immediate surroundings, not for a play, hiking and strolling around the parks and neighbourhoods.This virus is unseen, so you don’t know what is infected, increasing the risk of picking up and transferring it to the vulnerable.Where we are in Switzerland, we have seen so many out socialising and not keeping their distance, allowing the virus to spread unnecessarily and despite the lockdown instructions of the Governments.Remember if this was a different kind of threat you could see, you would be inside to protect yourself and loved ones.
• The Medical Doctors, Nurses & Experts are exhausted and working around extremely long hours to help those who are affected, at their own risk.We can help them by staying in the comforts of our homes, with our loved ones, taking care of our health whilst they fight to save those in the hospital.All they ask is that ‘WE STAY AT HOME’.
• And for those who are still a bit ‘unsure of the consequences of the lax approach in Italy’,I have included a link to Giada Russo’s Blog talking about life in Italy during the crisis, and How Does Italy Deal with the COVID19
Gallery:Common Flu Symptoms; Italy & China Medical teams – Illustration by Aurora;Medical Staff Plea to Stay Home; Travelling Signs.
Things you can do:
* Check on your friends and family, remaining connected via Social Media;
* Watch some fun Films on Netflix with your family;
* Play Games – so many suggestions on my private page – Scrabble, Monopoly, Escape-Room, Uno;
* Engage in conversations with your kids, laugh & allow yourselves to enjoy this precious time together;
* Love and make yourself comfortable at home;
* Take the opportunity to study and improve your skill-set;
* Finish off tasks you never got around to and plan for the rest of the year;
* Use the time to appreciate your health, well-being and the life you have.
* We are in this together!Care for your neighbours at a distance and follow the advice of Medical Experts working hard to save those who are ill.
Gallery of Photos:Pollution levels decrease;Home School; Sicilian Banner of Hope;Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson On the Mend;
Where are you currently located to witness the effects of Coronavirus?
Are you near your family and loved ones, or are they based abroad?If yes, where are they?
What frightens you the most about this Pandemic COVID-19/ Coronavirus?
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